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Polycystic Kidneys
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Polycystic Kidneys

Included in the National Museum of Health and Medicine exhibit, "Visible Human Male"

Figure Legend: Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder where cysts grow in the kidneys. The cysts are fluid-filled sacs that increase the size and weight of the kidneys, replaing normal kidney tissue and compressing nearby organs. Healthy kidneys weigh less than one pound. Kidneys affected by PKD can weigh as much as 20-30 lbs. The cysts grow for several years before the patient begins noticing back pain and other symptoms.

Purpose: Illustrate polycystic kidneys utilizing data from the Visible Human Male Project for the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago Visible Human Male Exhibit

Target Audience: Visitors to the National Museum of Health and Medicine

Medium: Materialise Mimics, Autodesk Mudbox, 3D studio Max


Behind the Scenes: The Visible Human Male is a product from the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project. Essentially, a donated cadaver was completely cryosectioned into 1mm thick sections, providing a serial data set encompassing the entire body. From this data each organ can be isolated and reconstucted in 3D by digitally stacking consecutive images with 1mm between them. For this piece, I worked in Materialise Mimics to reconstruct the kidneys. Once built, the model was brought into 3DS Max for retopology, and then taken into Mudbox (though Zbrush is my program of choice) to sculpt/paint polycystic kidney disease onto the healthy models.
The images below are obviously not kidneys, however they represent the same process: 3D imaging data into workable 3D model into final sculpted/painted model. Imaging Data to 3D model workflow